So this past week's training was a bit more interesting but definitely more draining! It is really interesting to see the the variety of people in the training and how we all react differently to the situations/content presented. For those of us with kids it is totally different than for those without kids. It is even more so for us since our children are adopted. A video was shown that was mostly text but with the sweetest child's voice saying things that broke my heart. She spoke of going to visit her birthmother and upon returning to her foster family she wet the bed for days from her anxiety about that...pulling her hair out...not knowing who she would go with when (FDS, care manager, foster mom, birth mom, who?) There are a couple of us in there with small children and we were all teary when the video was over. It is so difficult to ever imagine that our children would be taken from us and that is what they would go through. Who wants to think of their child being alone, scared, and hopeless? At the same time, it is important that we "feel" so that we understand what the birthparents are going through. We also went through an exercise that made it very real to all of us that particular stressors in our lives could land us in that position. Not every situation is full of abuse or neglect. Sometimes people lose their job, can't pay the bills or put food on the table and "accidently" take that anger out on whoever is closest..a child? :(
This MAPP training is definitely eye-opening and yet very difficult! I am so grateful that our county requires this 30+ process to prepare us for foster parenting. Many counties across the country require no such training and the foster parents are "thrown in" with very little preparation as to how to deal with such issues. It's hard but WORTH IT! Seeing that video really made it real and makes me want to provide a safe, loving and protective environment for children even more!